Nassau County health officials are offering free rabies vaccination shots for dogs, cats and ferrets on Saturday.
The vaccinations are a part of an effort to combat the spread of rabies, which has been found in 67 raccoons in the county since 2004, officials said. Both Nassau and Suffolk counties have been spreading rabies vaccination bait on the North Shore along the county line.
Rabies is transmitted by the bite of a rabid animal. “If an unvaccinated pet or one that’s overdue on its vaccination comes in contact with a rabid or suspected rabid animal, the pet must either be destroyed or strictly quarantined for six months,” Nassau officials said in a statement.
The clinic will be held in conjunction with the Town of Oyster Bay at the town Animal Shelter at 150 Miller Pl., Syosset, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
To prevent the spread of rabies, officials suggest keeping pets on a leash and confined in the evenings, not approaching unknown animals, not touching dead animals, not leaving pet food outside and keeping garbage cans tightly covered.
Parents should instruct their children to let it be known if they were bitten or scratched by any animal. Residents should call the health department is a bat is found in a room where people were sleeping or if an adult enters a room and finds a bat with a child. Do not release the bat.
Individuals bitten or scratched by any animal should contact their health care providers or seek medical help at a hospital emergency room and then call the Nassau County Department of Health. For information regarding rabies visit the department website at www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/health/index.html or the state website at www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/communicable/zoonoses/rabies or call the Nassau County Department of Health at 516-227-9663.